Chronic pain in dogs can have a significant impact on the quality of life they lead, but it can be difficult to determine whether or not your dog is experiencing discomfort. Our Stroudsburg veterinarians are here to provide you with information regarding the symptoms and the actions that you can take to address them.

What is chronic pain in dogs?

We always have the intention of loving and caring for our canine companions as if they were a member of our own human family, and while we are capable of doing a pretty good job of it, there are some conditions that we simply cannot prevent. One of these conditions is chronic pain, which not only causes your dog to experience discomfort but also has the potential to significantly diminish their quality of life.

How to Know if Your Dog Suffers From Chronic Pain

If you are concerned that your canine companion may be experiencing chronic pain, you should make a note of any signs and symptoms that you observe and bring them in for a comprehensive examination so that you can eliminate any other potential causes of the condition.

The following methods of pain assessment may be utilized by your veterinarian in order to assist in the diagnosis of your dog's condition:

  • Veterinary examination
  • Physiologic biomarkers
  • Objective measurements of gait (eg, force plate) and/or activity and movement (eg, accelerometer)
  • Owner assessment of activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Multifactorial clinical measurement instruments.

The Causes of Chronic Pain in Dogs

When it comes to dogs experiencing chronic pain, osteoarthritis is the most common cause. This condition affects approximately forty percent of dogs. Hereditary and other congenital factors are among the factors that can contribute to osteoarthritis in dogs. This condition can affect dogs of any age or breed.

The following are some additional factors that can lead to persistent pain in dogs:

  • Intervertebral disk disease IVDD
  • Cancer
  • Dental Health Problems

Treatments for Chronic Pain in Dogs

Medications that are designed for human consumption should never be given to your dog. There are a lot of medications that are safe for humans but can be harmful to animals. In the event that your canine companion is diagnosed with a condition that ultimately leads to persistent pain, the treatment that is suggested will be contingent upon the underlying cause of the pain.

When it comes to dental health conditions that cause discomfort, surgery is typically the most effective treatment option.

The chronic pain that is associated with cancer can be treated in a variety of ways, including the use of narcotics like Tramadol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Metacam, Previcox, Deramaxx, and Rimadyl, topical medications like lidocaine, benzocaine, cortisone, or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), or drug-free therapies like acupuncture or laser therapy.

A change in diet, along with dietary supplements to help fight inflammation, non-drug therapies to help reduce inflammation and soothe joints, such as cold laser therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, or acupuncture, anti-inflammatory medications such as Galliprant, Rimadyl, Previcox, or Metacam, and painkillers such as Gabapentin or Tramadol may be prescribed by your veterinarian for an individual who is experiencing chronic pain that is caused by joint conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Laser Therapy to Treat Chronic Pain in Dogs

The most common applications of veterinary laser therapy are to assist in the management of pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet. This treatment method is relatively new and has been used to treat symptoms related to a variety of disorders.

Laser therapy employs light waves of a particular wavelength in order to bring about a change in the physiology of the tissues that are being treated. During the course of treatment, the light that is emitted by these lasers will assist in stimulating the cells that are present within the tissues, which will allow for a more rapid regeneration of the cells.

Because of the wavelength of the laser that is being used, the tissue that can be affected will be determined. Near-infrared light is emitted by the majority of lasers that are used, with the utilization of lasers with lower wavelengths becoming increasingly common. Lasers with lower wavelengths are utilized for the treatment of areas that are close to and involve the skin, whereas lasers with higher wavelengths are able to concentrate on the repair of deeper tissue.

If you are interested in learning more about the potential benefits of veterinary laser therapy for your dog, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog in chronic pain? Contact our Stroudsburg vets today to book an examination so we can start to alleviate your dog's pain.